Holiday Safety!

The following call to be a GUARDIAN and Holiday Safety Tips are courtesy of Mr. Dave Young, the founder of the U.S. Fighting Systems Program. He has spent the past 25 years teaching military, police and corrections officers how to stay safe and defend themselves. For more information, sign up for his free safety tips here: Your Family Defense

Guardian Traits

Dave Young’s End of Year and Holiday Safety Tips

  1. Increase your level of AWARENESS.
  2. On your morning run or ride to work through the neighborhood, take “brain pictures” of cars parked in the street that may not belong to a neighbor.
  3. Carefully screen friendly knocks at the door – it may not be the person you think behind it.
  4. Watch hands as people approach you, they may not have something good inside their pockets.
  5. When shopping, be conscious of people spending more time watching you than the items they came to buy.
  6. Pay attention as you walk into stores – make sure people from the outside don’t follow you in.
  7. Keep your personal belongings close and your family members even closer.
  8. Discuss your “Family Action Plan.” Know what will family members do and where will they go in case of an emergency.
  9. Before you sit down at a restaurant, coffee shop, concert, theater or any other place, make sure you identify your escape routes, positions of cover possible, and weapons of availability if needed.
  10. Do not count on the call for help to be your safety plan!

 

National Physical Fitness Month Challenges!

sit ups

May is National Physical Fitness Month!

As martial artists one of our goals is to work on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That includes exercise both in and outside of class.

Every week in May we will be issuing a new challenge! All students, parents and siblings are encouraged to participate!

Week One (May 3-9): SIT UPS! Do 100 sit ups (vary them) daily. It doesn’t have to be all at once. If you need to, spread them out through the day.

Week Two (May 10-16): LUNGES! Do 100 lunges every day! They can be varied (stationary, walking forward, jumping) and spread throughout your day.  Keep up the good work!

Week Three (May 17-23) CARDIO!  Add an extra 10 minutes of cardio to your daily routine. It’s your choice – running, jump rope, fast feet, etc.

Week Four (May 24-31) PUSH UPS! Do 100 push ups every day. Again, it’s okay to do them a few at a time. Let’s see how many the school can do!

Have fun! Remember if you have questions about adding to or improving your fitness routine, please see one of your instructors. We are here to help!

Beginning with Meditation

We begin each class with some meditation time. Students sit cross legged, eyes closed for anywhere from 1  to 5 minutes. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Breathing in the positive, breathing out the negative.

dom meditating (2)Doing the best we can to clear our minds of all the chatter.

We meditate to help us focus. It encourages us to be present in the current moment. Letting go what happened earlier today. Letting be what may or may not happen later. Numerous studies on meditation comment on its benefits. Even a short daily practice can significantly reduce stress, improve focus, increase awareness, and aid productivity and performance.

It’s often hard for students, young or old, to sit quietly for even a short period. Like anything we want to improve, we practice. There are many different guided audios, videos, classes and articles about  ways to meditate. Start slowly, try not to judge yourself, and persevere. Find what works best for you!

Here are some helpful links: 5 Tips on How to Meditate for Beginners,  How to Start a Beginners Meditation PracticeBest Meditation Podcasts 2015, Meditation for Beginners

Celebrating Kindness!

This week we are celebrating, along with the entire nation, Random Acts of Kindness!
Kindness is something you do for someone else. It’s not a requirement, like a chore, homework or practice but takes a little bit of extra action. Complimenting a stranger, giving up your seat, or sharing a treat are all super examples of kindness.  It is the ultimate act of self defense!
We encourage our students year round to keep track of all the kind things they do every day. We log them into the student website, keep a daily notebook or simply write them on any scrap paper.  This helps us to be mindful of what we do and aids us in noticing when others our kind to us. We read Kindness sheets in class to give us all ideas in ways we can be kinder to others.
Students who log the most Kindness Acts in a testing cycle are awarded with our Action Hero Patch!
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Would your child’s classroom benefit from an infusion of kindness? Please talk with us about our school kindness challenge.  It’s simple: students write down all their Acts of Kindness, over a one-week period on supplied sheets, and then turn them into their teacher. The class with the most acts turned in wins a pizza party at their school!  Individual students can earn medals!  The challenge can be completed by an entire school, grade level or individual classroom. We provide all materials and incentives!  Our instructors are happy to schedule a visit to your school to talk about the importance of kindness. 

 

On Demonstrations!

We encourage all our students, children and adults, to make being part of our Demonstration Team a goal.

Our team performs at parties, schools, and a variety of community events throughout the year.

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Performing in front of any audience helps promote practice and builds confidence. Students learn to work together, build on strengths and help others overcome challenges. Social anxiety, on both a large (public speaking) and small scale (making friends) afflicts 13% of our population. A welcoming and supportive environment allows our students to improve both here at the Academy and at their schools or work places.

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For more information on overcoming social anxiety visit these websites: http://www.anxietybc.com/resources/social.php

http://socialanxietydisorder.about.com

 

Focus on Family!

Family CollageOver the holidays we are focusing on FAMILY! One of the best things about the study and practice of Martial Arts is that it’s something children and adults can do together!

Children are working on earning their FAMILY patches for their uniforms. Think and talk about what you can do to help your family. Some ideas from our mat chat yesterday included: Listen the first time! Play nicely with cousins (even if they’re not your favorite). Help with cleaning and cooking. Visit relatives and actually talk with them – not just play on your phone. Say please and thank you.

To earn the badge, students can write us a short paragraph about what they worked on and how it helped!

If you are new to our academy, Merit Badges compliment our life skills education for children. It’s another innovative Learn to Earn character development system for our students in preschool through 6th grade.  Like many of J.K. Lee Black Belt Academy’s programs, the merit badge program introduces and reinforces valuable life skills such as Focus, Discipline and Confidence in a manner that is age specific and fun!  Merit Badges are much more than badges. They motivate your child with the incentive of earning through the life skills they learn. It builds their self-esteem and inspires them to always do their best!

Adult students don’t typically earn badges but we do take time to reflect on ways we can help and nurture our families. We encourage you to share ideas and suggestions!

All of our instructors and staff are thankful for all of our wonderful families! Your commitment and support help make teaching joyful!

Helping Your Child Prepare to Compete!

Grand Master reviewing tournament rules.

Grand Master reviewing tournament rules.

Most of our energy the past two weeks has been focused on the upcoming Tournament. We are often asked, “How can I help my child get ready?” Today we were fortunate to have Grand Master speak to us about what the judges look for during the competition. He reminds us that we need to focus on the fundamentals and always PRACTICE! 

Making Practice Fun: Set aside a consistent time free from distractions. Give your child some choices as to the when and where. Try for a performance using grandparents, neighbors and friends. Set small incremental goals. If the timer is a turn off, focus on something else. For example, do the form twice with super strong punches and then once thinking about blocks; try your kick high and low. Remind them of the payoff and call attention to improvement!

Here are a couple of ways you can assist your child get ready for Tournament.

Form Practice: Come to your child’s class and record them doing their form with an instructor or visit our website jkleeblackbelt.com to view their form. Encourage your child to practice their form every day. For tournament, please do not have them count out loud, instead counting in their head to stay focused. Children 6 and under will have a helper do the form with them at competition. When reviewing, talk about what they did right first!

Board Breaking Practice: Have your child practice their favorite kicks on a paddle target. Stress the loud kiap (power scream) before the kick and on the kick as they break the board. All competitors high green and below, will get 2 boards. All competitors brown to high red will get 3 boards. If you have a question about what breaking kicks would be best, please ask one of the instructors.

We are here to help! Come early or stay late for extra assistance.

If you would like more information on our Tournament please visit http:jkleeblackbelt.com

Tournament Ready: Exploring the Five P’s

TournamentWe are working in all of our classes to get ready for the upcoming Fall Tournament of Champions. Our Academy hosts two annual tournaments which take place in the Fall and Spring. We encourage everyone to participate, beginners through Black Belts; children and adults. Tournament is not about winning and losing.  It is about learning how to compete, deal with pressure and use self-discipline to achieve a goal. Participation builds patience, self control, confidence and good sportsmanship.

Our discussions with all students have emphasized the 5 P’s: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance! In order to do well at anything, we need to practice. We don’t merely go through the motions. We practice how we would want to perform. It’s important to find time every day. Even 10 minutes helps! This adaptation of an old military adage is also a good reminder that our self defense fundamentals should be practiced with that same intensity. It’s difficult to think under stress, but your muscles will remember what they’ve done.

Investigating the 5 P’s  led us to review what it means to be a good student, whether at Tae Kwon Do, grade school, college, music lessons, continuing education, etc. A good student is:

Present – Physically and mentally. Let all those other things wait. Focus on the here and now.

Prepared – Review the previous lesson on your own, with your family or in a study group. Bring all materials or equipment.

Productive – Stay on task. Ask questions. There’s time before and after class to visit and sometimes play!

Polite – Showing courtesy and respect to everyone, including parents, teachers and peers, is part of our core values. Be welcoming and encouraging to others.

Positive – At our Academy “can’t” is considered a bad word. Our school greeting is “Pilsung!” A Korean word meaning “certain victory” or for the children “I can do it!”.

We encourage you to take stock of where you are in relation to the 5 P’s as a competitor, student, parent and professional!

If you want to learn more about our Tournament click here: http://jkleeblackbelt.com/tournament/

Stay Safe this Halloween!

Please read and share the following Trick or Treat tips! Stay safe this October!
 

Family Safety Tips for Halloween

Renowned safety authority, Dave Young, offers his top ten family safety tips for Halloween 2014!  Dave Young is the president of Arma Training, US Fighting Systems and Your Family Defense. He has more than 30 years of combined civilian/military law enforcement training and experience. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading tactical trainers for personal survival and safety. Dave has been featured by People magazine, Fox and Friends and CNN. He also hosted National Geographic’s Crash Test Human for three years. Dave has trained the instructors at J.K. Lee for many years.
 
Halloween is a time for fun but for some it’s unfortunately an opportunity to take advantage of others! It is a time where home invasions, assaults and robberies occur in the open and innocent children go missing. Please be prepared!
 
1. Be ALERT:  Be ALERT of what you see. A toy gun may be REAL. Guns, swords, knives and other weapons could hurt you. Do you have a family action plan?
 
2.  If your gut tells you to leave … go! Tune in and listen to that inner voice when it tells you something isn’t right or safe, and that you should leave now. Watch for vehicles that maybe be slowly approaching you and your child, and pay attention while you walk through your neighborhood. Do not walk around with blinders on or listening to your iPod.
 
3.  Be prepared: Don’t dash off without making sure your cell phone is charged and all of the important emergency numbers are loaded in your phone. People forget their numbers under life-threatening situations. Walk your trick or treat route to get an estimated time or identify possible issues you may experience. Have a planned response.
 
4.  Make sure your flashlight has new batteries: Test beforehand to make sure you are happy with the brightness (something at least 80 Lumina in candela ratings), with a lanyard so you can attach it on your wrist or belt loop (not your neck). Make sure it is readily accessible. Don’t dig through a purse or backpack.
 
5. Monitor your surroundings: Predators hide within other groups of people, and walk within your OWN groups. Make sure you know everyone in the group. Take a picture of your children on your cell phone and email it to yourself in case you need to give the police a picture of how they were dressed.
 
6. When accompanying your child, do not dress in costume: This makes it hard for your own children to identify you and/or find you! If you do dress up, have something distinctive about your costume so your children will know you immediately. Watch for traffic! Use the crosswalks together.
 
7. Make YOUR children’s costume stand out: Children often wear the same thing so put an identifier on their person or costume. For example, give your princess a glow band on her right ankle and left wrist and tell her not to take it off.
 
8. Do not accept refreshments or beverages closed or open, UNLESS YOU KNOW THEM. There was a situation in which a parent allowed their 10 year old to accept and taste a drink. Their boy needed to immediately use the bathroom. The child went into the house of someone they DIDN’T know which was exactly what the predator wanted.
 
9. Go through your candy together when you get home. Check original packaging, look for clear tape on the candy, folded corners, etc. If you find anything wrong with the candy you were given, immediately stop searching the candy and call the police. Or better yet, avoid this step all together by throwing all the candy away — that’s right, all of it — and have some of your child’s favorite candy or treats on hand at home instead.
 
10. Don’t be home alone when you are answering the door for Trick or Treat. Have a friend stay over. Light up the front and back yards. This is the one time of year an intruder can walk right  up to your front door. There is a reason criminals wear a MASK!
 
For more information about Dave visit www.yourfamilydefense.com, or Facebook at Your Family Defense.
 pumpkin

Have a safe and fun Halloween! 

Exercising Your Mind

One of the many good things about the study of Martial Arts is that it involves mental and physical challenges. We learn about different cultures. We explore the science governing our spinning kicks and breaking techniques. We work our memories while practicing the many movements in our forms. We train to keep ourselves present in the current moment which helps us increase productivity.

Studies show that exercising your brain helps lower your risk of dementia.  Check out Your Brain Matters for some additional suggestions and brain training!

At our Academy, we post a weekly Brain Stretch (puzzles, riddles or did you know questions with varying degrees of difficulty) on a white board to challenge our children and adults. Students with the correct answer write their names on the board.  It’s a wonderful way to encourage thinking and discussions about problem solving.

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